Synopsis from Simon & Schuster:
Caldecott Award winner Brian Floca gives a heartfelt thank you to the essential workers who keep their cities going during COVID-19 quarantine in this tenderly illustrated picture book.
We are here at home now, watching the world through our windows. Outside we see the city we know, but not as we’ve seen it before. The once hustling and bustling streets are empty. Well, almost empty. Around the city there are still people, some, out and about. These are the people keeping us safe. Keeping us healthy. Keeping our mail and our food delivered. Keeping our grocery stores stocked. Keeping the whole city going. Brian Floca speaks for us all in this stirring homage to all the essential workers who keep the essentials operating so the rest of us can do our part by sheltering in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
About: Keeping the City Going is a picture book written and illustrated by Brian Floca. It was recently published on 4/27/2021 by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, hardcover, 40 pages. The genres are nonfiction, city life, and history. This book is intended for readers ages 4 to 8, grades P to 3. According to the publisher’s website, “Founded in 1961 by Jean Karl, Atheneum Books for Young Readers is known for publishing enduring literary middle grade, teen, picture book, and graphic novel titles. The imprint has garnered more than forty Newbery and Caldecott Medals and Honors throughout its celebrated history.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.
My Experience: I started reading Keeping the City Going on 4/27/2021 for my daughter and we finished it in one sitting. I read it again on 5/6/2021. This book is wonderful for children and adults alike. It’s a story to remind kids that while they were at home and probably watching outside through their windows, to remember that there are other people still out to work to help others in need, like getting the sick people to the hospitals and helping to bring foods to them because their parents couldn’t go to the supermarket like they did in the past. The illustrations of the empty city streets are awesome to look at but sad to see at the same time. It’s like seeing a movie, a deserted city streets due to an apocalypse. Busy streets and store fronts are reduced to stragglers. Many readers may live in small towns and don’t experience the pandemic the same way as people in the big city. This book looks like it shows the big city of New York with tall buildings and many windows. A glimpse into how different empty city streets of New York from the empty streets of where readers live.
This story follows the people watching the world goes by through their window. It looks different outside from what they see now versus what they saw before. How? The streets are empty and the stores/schools are closed. Only very few cars are operating like food/shopping delivery services, police officers, paramedics, doctors, nurses, hospital staffs, etc. Those people who continued working despite pandemic because they are the people keeping the city going. The people worry about what will happen next as they sit at home to keep their distance from others and to keep safe. And so the people thank the frontline workers for keeping the city going and keeping everyone safe.
Keeping the City Going is an excellent book. A closer look at the frontline workers for their continuous service despite putting themselves at risks to the virus in order to keep the rest of the people safe. I enjoy the humor in this book with the mention of toilet paper (see image below). Pandemic got people into a frenzy, cleaning out shelves of toilet papers. People couldn’t help taking pictures of the empty shelves in those early days. This book doesn’t talk about the changes in the children’s lives during pandemic (like not going to school face to face and switching to virtual learning) so children can’t relate much. It’s a story to inform the children that while they are at home with their parents, their classmates’ parents could have been the ones keeping their family safe. A must read book and I do recommend this read to everyone!
Tag Lines: Covid pandemic, front line workers, humor, illustrations
I rate it 5 stars!
About the Author:
Brian Floca is the author and illustrator of the acclaimed picture books Locomotive, winner of the Caldecott Medal and a New York Times bestseller; Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11; and Lightship, each a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book. He is the illustrator of numerous additional books, including Avi’s Poppy series. You can visit him online at BrianFloca.com (Photo obtained from the author’s website and Info obtained from Simon & Schuster’s website).
More Information About Simon Kids
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***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.